The ski trails had not been groomed. I know, I went over to check. Twice. With all that new snow, it seemed there was enough for skiing, but without grooming it was too deep for skate skiing. There were decent classic tracks, forged by a number of skiers out ahead of me. So I was left with little choice. If I was going to ski today, it had to be classic.
Ever since taking up skate skiing, it’s been my favorite for workouts. I just don’t have the solid technique nor the desire to press hard when doing classic skiing. So instead, I reserve it for recreational skiing with friends or going out in the woods to enjoy the scenery. I just didn’t know that today was meant for that type of skiing.
As soon as I set off, I could feel the magic. The snow was soft, with plenty of coverage, and the tracks were decent. The silence of the woods descended on me as I glided through the snow. I didn’t need a workout, I needed to enjoy the surroundings. It was slow going in the new snow, but that meant more opportunity to enjoy the scenery.
It was mid-afternoon but since we are zeroing in on the shortest day of the year, the sun was low in the sky, sending long shadows across the trail. The sky was a brilliant blue, providing a beautiful canopy over the snowy scene. And the sunshine felt good on my back. Lester River was gurgling under the snow and ice and provided a nice vista as I worked my way uphill.
As the afternoon progressed, the sun lit the treetops on fire. Soon following, the sky itself began to glow and silhouetted the trees in the foreground. I desperately wanted to capture it in a photo, but my camera battery had long since succumbed to the cold and complained when I tried to turn on my camera. A mental picture would have to do. Perhaps it was for the best – it was cooling down quickly, and my willingness to take off my mitts to handle the camera was quickly evaporating.
Maybe they will groom the trails tonight. I hope so. But now I’m glad I had a classic day in the woods.